Your company has decided to go paperless and has made a significant investement in the software required. You need a 7” Windows tablet for your shop floor supervisor. For exactly the same functionality you can spend £100, or you can spend £1,000. No brainer, right?
Except that the difference in cost is the difference between a standard tablet and a rugged version of the same. The choice now is between saving a lot of money in the hope your supervisor will not break the tablet (if he does, it’s only £100 to replace), and spending ten times as much (or more!) in the hope the tablet will last.
Let’s say you go for option one. You calculate that your people would have to break ten tablets to make you regret choosing this option – surely it will take them years to break 10 tablets! So you give your shop floor supervisor a standard tablet and he goes away very happy with his new toy.
Two weeks later he’s back “Sorry boss, Fred wasn’t looking where he was going and knocked it right out of my hands”. No worries, it’s only £100 to get another one. It’ll get here tomorrow, then I.T. will load the software you need, and your shop floor supervisor will get it the day after. Meanwhile he will have to make do with pencil and bits of paper for a couple of days. It’s a bit tricky, because your company is paperless, so documents like works orders don’t get printed, but he’ll manage….
So what is the real cost of replacing the tablet? How much extra time does the supervisor take for any given task because he has to walk over to a terminal to view works orders? How much machine run time is lost waiting for the supervisor to come back from the terminal for procedures that require his approval? How many errors happen because the supervisor doesn’t have access to the necessary information and makes decisions without going to check the relevant documentation?
AND, do you really want your people to think of your hardware as “disposable”?
The moral of the story must be, think twice about where you save money.